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Time for a #HIGNFY re-vamp?

October 4th, 2020 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

Have I Got News For You is celebrating its 30th year now and although it has its moments it really is showing its age now. I have watched it from the start and do still watch it, but that is at least partly through habit. A lot of the time the regular members do seem to be on auto-pilot and a lot of the jokes are very obvious, even when they are funny. I would not like to see it disappear, but I think that it really could do with a re-vamp or re-launch after thirty years.When the show started it was presented by Angus Deayton who had done a few sketch shows, university reviews and acting jobs but was not a household name. Paul Merton was well-known amongst comedy fans for his improvisational skills but had not featured in mainstrem TV much. Ian Hislop was even less of a household name as his day job was on a magazine rather than in front of audiences. Although not a performer he obviously had a great interest in current affairs and politics and lots of inside knwledge about them. When HIGNFY launched, all three were under 35.

Ideally, the show would refresh with a new set of performers who are under 35 (or at least under 40) who could continue for another 20 or 30 years who are proven professionals but not household names, and certainly not the usual suspects that TV companies always go to straight away for every single bloody show. In other words, not Dara O’Briain, Jimmy Carr, Romesh, Katherine Ryan, Jonathan Ross, Sara Pascoe, Graham Norton, and so on.

Personally I think they should also go back to having a regular host instead of a different one each week. It would give the show a bit more stability and consistency.

So who could they populate the show with for a Doctor Who-style regeneration?

Well I think that the Ian Hislop seat could be filled by Andrew Hunter Murray. At 33 he is a similar age to Hislop when the show started and has the same old fogey before his time sense about him. He has good improvisation skills and he is even involved with Private Eye – he could even be a contender to replace Hislop there?

Part of the odd appeal at the start was the strange balance of having a satirist as one captain but facing him with a comedian with no previous apparent interest in topical comedy. Rachel Parris would be great, but she is known for topical satirical work so it would upset the dynamic. Maybe somebody like Suzi Ruffell? Or Alison Spittle? Like Paul Merton, she is a lot brighter than she makes out. Phil Wang could be a possibility too.

For the host, I reckon that Mo Gilligan would be a good shout. If he can control Big Narstie he can control anything! Failing that, maybe Ellie Taylor. Dane Baptiste would be good, if the age range was stretched a bit.

As well as refreshing the show, that selection would add a bit of much-needed diversity to the line-up.


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